‘Maintenance’ begins and ends with me!

Here we have a duplex type fuel filter unit which has ‘flagged’ indicating fouling/contamination whilst in service. Note the red hatching closing over on the display. By switching over to the stand-by filter of the duplex unit, often brings closure to the matter, but other times the problem is a bit more sinister. Unfortunately, this filter also flagged in a very short period of time after coming online, so deeper investigation must start as soon as vessel operations allow. What is causing the sudden fouling?

Tracing the fuel system back, the next step was the vessels fuel service tank where the route cause was eventually discovered – bacteria. This vessels service tank is of a size that permits access for cleaning, however, tank entries must always be avoided unless deemed crucial to vessel operation. With any enclosed space entry, strict safety control procedures must be adopted if an entry is to be made. With this followed, the cleaning work can be undertaken with subsequent tank refilling and treatment with a biocide to maintain bug-free fuel. A detailed study of the various types of enclosed spaces onboard, space entry control procedures, to the maintenance and survey of tanks is given due regard on all AEC and enclosed space awareness courses. Keeping our fuel right at all times is a key maintenance task, part of the joys of motoring…

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